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Africa|Building|generation|Generators|Power
Africa|Building|generation|Generators|Power
africa|building|generation|generators|power

MTN achieves record 98% network availability in Limpopo

7th May 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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As telecommunications giant MTN South Africa accelerates its nationwide modernisation programme, the company has achieved a record 98.33% network availability daily in Limpopo.

The 2024 resilience plan, which was completed in the first quarter of 2024, aims to ensure that all sites have power backup, such as batteries or hybrid generators, on hub sites to minimise network unavailability during loadshedding, load reduction and extended power failures.

The rollout in the region and across South Africa has led to improved throughput and availability, reduced drop call rates and increased data volumes, said MTN South Africa acting regional GM Isaac Monama.

“Overall network availability has improved by 27.18% since the start of the resilience programme compared with last year. Sites with resilience have a network availability of greater than 97% under stage 4 loadshedding.”

The aim now is to end 2024 with a network availability of 96% under stage 6 loadshedding and greater than 99% under stage 2 loadshedding.

In Limpopo, fourth-generation (4G) population coverage reached 99.41% and MTN activated 56 fifth-generation (5G) sites across Limpopo during 2023, with plans to add another 60 5G sites to the network in 2024.

“MTN is committed to expanding its network to underserved communities and aims to achieve 95% broadband coverage by 2025,” he continued.

In line with this, MTN South Africa connected 11 rural sites in remote villages in the region that never had network connectivity, unlocking digital opportunities, including banking, education, news and entertainment.

The initiative included villages such as Waterberg and Ka-Mushiyani in Greater Giyani region.

“We are working on building 12 new sites in Limpopo and enhancing 80 sites through modernisation, layer upgrades and sectorisation to further expand coverage in the province,” Monama said, noting that uncovered communities, predominantly rural and sparsely populated, are MTN’s key focus.

“I am pleased that we are making significant progress in closing these access gaps in the region.”

Indications of the benefits include 4G download speeds in Limpopo averaging 10 Mb/s, which aligns with the target to ensure fast, reliable access for users.

However, while the challenge of loadshedding has abated for now, theft and damage at sites remain of concern, with 160 vandalism incidents occurring in the Limpopo in the first quarter of 2024, he concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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